Professor reflects on personal faith journey

first_imgProfessor Daniel Lapsley, professor and chair of the department of psychology, reflected on his faith journey for the second event in the Fr. Ted Talk series held in honor of University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.In the talk in Reckers on Thursday night, Lapsley said the journey of faith forces people to confront two fundamental questions.“The journey of faith, as I understand it, is an attempt to answer two really important questions. The first is: Who am I? This is the great identity question. This is the question that becomes especially compelling to adolescents and adults,” he said. “The second question was actually asked by Jesus: Who is the son of man?”Lapsley said these questions can’t be fully answered until one’s journey of faith is fully developed into a narrative.“I want to elevate the category of narrative and story to equal footing with the metaphor of journey,” he said. “Coming to grips with faith is not just a journey, it’s being able to tell a narrative. It’s being able to tell a story. It’s an attempt to find interweaving of the two great questions I posed. … Our journey does not make sense until we develop it into a narrative that makes sense.”A person’s narrative is constantly evolving and tries to make sense of the past, present and future, Lapsley said.“You’re trying to make sense of what your life has been prior to coming to Notre Dame, trying to wrestle with what life is like now and what you promise to be in the future,” he said. “In the decades ahead of you, you’re going to try to keep the narrative going. The story you’ve constructed for yourself from childhood through adolescence is not going to be the same story when you’re 30, and 40, and 50 and beyond.”Lapsley said his narrative changed drastically when he reached middle school and faltered in his religious beliefs.“I was a religious boy, very pious. I took ritual and pietism seriously,” he said. “But [in middle school] I’m sort of trying to figure out who I am. I’m trying to answer the identity question. … I was pushing back against borrowed ideas. I’m trying to carve out a sense of self, I’m trying to write my own narrative.”This sudden decrease in faith, Lapsley said, is very common among adolescents.“From early adolescence to late adolescence, ritual observance, religiosity among adolescents, declines into the university years — religiosity declines, but spirituality increases,” he said. “Answering the question who am I and who do you say I am are going to be interwoven … but sometimes this bumps up against developmental challenges, which kind of breaks the story apart, as you try to write a better narrative.”Part of his journey of faith was reconciling the different storylines of his narrative, Lapsley said.“As I struggle to keep the narrative going, a couple of other storylines come into my story,” he said. “One storyline is that as a scientist — I’m committed to naturalism in ethics and in science. So that means that transcendental or metaphysical or supernatural things kind of bump in. It’s hard to make that fit into a narrative. … I take solace in the fact that empiricism has it’s home in Catholicism.”Lapsley said being a member of the Notre Dame community helped him to reconnect with his faith.“I felt like it was the hand of God. I felt like this was not an accident, that somehow it was providential that I was here,” he said. “I began to reflect on this. I began to go to daily mass at the Basilica, I began to get in touch with my faith life again. … I just felt a deeper connection to the faith community here.”Tags: Faith, faith narrative, Fr. Ted Talks, journeylast_img read more

Watering Tips.

first_imgAs the temperatures climb and outdoor watering restrictions tighten, what can you do tosave your plants? First, don’t panic. Most established trees and shrubs and somewarm-season turf grasses can survive extended periods of limited rainfall. And fescueturf can always be reseeded this fall.Here are some tips to help your plants make it through the drought.Make sure all plants are well mulched. Using3 to 5 inches of mulch will help reduce soil moisture water loss. Fine-textured mulchessuch as pine straw, mininuggets or shredded hardwood mulch will conserve moisture betterthan coarse-textured mulches.Some garden centers sell hydrogels,water-absorbing polymers that absorb several hundred times their weight in water and thenrelease it slowly back to the plant. If you use hydrogels, hydrate them indoors. Don’t putdry crystals into the soil, because they can pull moisture from the soil and away from theplant. When you hydrate these materials, be careful. One teaspoon absorbs a quart ofwater, and one-fourth cup will absorb a 5-gallon bucket of water, so avoid adding too much of the material to the water. Let hydrogels absorb water overnight until the material is the consistencyof Jell-O. Then spread a thin layer under mulch. On potted plants, use a dowel to punchtwo to three holes into the growing media about halfway down through the container. Thenplace the gel in the holes. This will greatly reduce the water demand of container plants.Another product on the market is calledDriwater. Unlike hydrogels that swell and shrink and last several years in the soil,Driwater ( is hydrated starchgranules sold in sausage-shaped tubes. You just insert two to four of these sausages intoplastic tubes placed in the ground next to the plant. Bacteria in the soil gradually breakdown the starch granules and release water to the plant for up to three months.Your air-conditioner collects humidity inyour home and pumps it outside as condensation. Find the drain line and collect the waterfor plants. Or extend the tubing to irrigate nearby plants. The air conditioner won’t giveyou lots of water. But it may provide just enough to keep a few plants alive through anextended drought.Severe wilting and foliar scorching aresigns of drought stress. When a shrub or perennial wilts to the point that you doubt its survival, cutthe top back by one-third to one-half to reduce the leaves’ demand for water. With lesstop to support, the root system may be able to survive. If you can get the root systemthrough the drought, the top will prosper later.Save milk jugs and recycle water from insidethe home. (Using gray water isn’t allowed in some counties. Check with your healthdepartment.) Put a few pinholes and pebbles in the bottom of the jugs. The pebbles willkeep them from blowing around when they’re empty. Use two to four jugs for medium-sizeshrubs and eight to 10 for trees. Don’t bury the jugs around trees and shrubs, because thedigging will damage the already-stressed root system.When using washing-machine water, combinethe rinse-cycle water with the wash-cycle water to dilute the detergent and bleachingagents. Then use the gray water right away. Bacteria in the water may cause an odor if youleave it sitting around too long.This fall, start thinking of ways to reducethe irrigated areas in your landscape. Change irrigated areas to beds of drought-tolerantground covers or mixed beds of tough-as-nails plants like ornamental grasses, sedum,junipers, crepe myrtle, yarrow or gaura. See ( for anextensive plant listing.last_img read more

UN aid chief to G20 on coronavirus: ‘Step up now or pay price later’

first_imgCoronavirus support to poor countries has been so far “grossly inadequate and that’s dangerously shortsighted,” UN aid chief Mark Lowcock said on Thursday as he asked wealthy countries for billions more dollars in assistance.The United Nations increased its humanitarian appeal by more than a third to $10.3 billion to help 63 states, mainly in Africa and Latin America, tackle the spread and destabilizing effects of the coronavirus. This is up from the world body’s initial $2 billion request in March, then $6.7 billion in May.So far, Lowcock said, the United Nations has only received $1.7 billion. As finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies prepare to meet virtually on Saturday, Lowcock told reporters: “The message to the G20 is step up now or pay the price later.”The coronavirus has infected at least 13.6 million people and there have been more than 584,000 known deaths worldwide, according to a Reuters tally. The United Nations has warned that if action is not taken, the pandemic and associated global recession will trigger an increase in global poverty for the first time since 1990 and push 265 million people to the brink of starvation.”The response so far of wealthy nations, who’ve rightly thrown out the fiscal and monetary rule books to protect their own people and economies, the response that they’ve made to the situations in other countries has been grossly inadequate and that’s dangerously shortsighted,” Lowcock said.Lowcock added he had lobbied US lawmakers for funding earlier this week. A House of Representatives committee has proposed $10 billion in international aid. So far, Congress has provided $2.4 billion in emergency foreign aid.In May, China’s President Xi Jinping pledged $2 billion to help deal with the coronavirus and economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing states.Lowcock said he would “very much welcome it if some significant proportion of those resources could be used directly to support the global humanitarian response plan.”Topics :last_img read more